All Reports

FairVote Research Reports analyze American and international elections and election practices, studying the effect on voter participation, fairness in representation and competitive choice.

Latest Reports

  • Comparative Structural Reform

    August 31, 2015

    Comparative Structural Reform presents an extensive assessment of the potential impact of 37 structural reforms to election laws and legislative structures in collaboration with 14 prominent political scholars. Scholars participating in the project are authorities on electoral reform and legislative functionality, with extensive collective expertise and mastery of both quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of American legislatures, elections and electoral rules. Each of the participating scholars was asked to assess each reform’s impact on 16 different criteria fitting within four topline categories: legislative functionality, electoral accountability, voter engagement, and openness of process. Scholars were compensated for their participation. All scholars responded to all eleven surveys and provided a wealth of insightful comments, new sources, and useful information in addition to their well-considered ratings of each reform.

  • Recommended Reforms to California's Top Two

    April 23, 2015
  • Fuzzy Math: Wrong Way Reforms for Allocating Electoral Votes

    January 28, 2015

    States have a constitutional obligation to decide how they will allocate their electoral votes during presidential elections. Almost all states currently use statewide, winner-take-all rules, which gives all of the state's votes to the winner of the statewide popular vote. But some states have considered alternative methods, such as the whole number proportional system and the congressional district system. We look at the effect these systems would have on presidential elections. Neither system promotes majority rule, increases competitiveness nationwide, or ensures voter equality.

  • Federal Primary Runoff Elections and Voter Turnout Declines, 1994 - 2014

    November 17, 2014

    Many states currently use runoff election systems during primaries for statewide federal posts. However, the two-election runoff system leads to high turnout declines and a less representative second election, particularly if there is along time delay between the two elections.

  • The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

    June 13, 2014

    In debating options for reforming presidential elections in the United States, the most promising alternative to the status quo is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV). But even though we use popular vote elections to select every member of Congress and all 50 governors, some NPV skeptics warn that its adoption would have a partisan impact on presidential elections. They fear that Democrats could increase their national vote totals by focusing resources on major metropolitan areas, while Republicans could achieve similar gains only by spreading their resources across more geographically dispersed, non-urban areas. This report challenges this argument in three ways. 

  • The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

    June 13, 2014

    This report challenges the argument that a national popular vote for president would advantage Democratic or urban voters in three ways. First, we demonstrate that urban areas, when properly defined as metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), lean only modestly toward the Democratic Party.